Latest articles
UK Immigration Rough Sleeper Rule
Aaron Gates-Lincoln, Immigration NewsThe UK government has recently introduced a controversial new set of rules that aim to make rough sleeping grounds for refusal or cancellation of a migrant’s...
Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust v DV (A Child) [2021] EWHC 1037 (Fam)
(Family Division, Cohen J, 19 April 2021)Medical Treatment – 17-year-old had form of bone cancer and required surgery For comprehensive, judicially approved coverage of every important...
Domestic Abuse Bill
Aaron Gates-Lincoln, Immigration NewsAfter years of development the Domestic Abuse Bill returned to the House of Lords in the UK on the 8th March 2021 to complete its report stage, one of the final...
Coercive control and children’s welfare in Re H-N and Others
When families come to strife, arrangements must be made for the future care of any children. In some circumstances, this means an application to the courts. These ‘private law orders’ can...
Profession: Expert Witness
The value of a family business or business interest is treated as an asset and therefore part of the matrimonial pot to be distributed when it comes to negotiating a financial settlement on divorce or...
View all articles
Authors

High Court finds Exceptional Funding scheme unlawful

Sep 29, 2018, 22:13 PM
family law, access to justice, LASPO, legal aid, exceptional case funding, public law project, I.S., Gudanaviciene
The High Court has today handed down a judgment in a test case which will have profound implications for access to justice.
Slug : high-court-finds-exceptional-funding-scheme-unlawful
Meta Title : High Court finds Exceptional Funding scheme unlawful
Meta Keywords : family law, access to justice, LASPO, legal aid, exceptional case funding, public law project, I.S., Gudanaviciene
Canonical URL :
Trending Article : No
Prioritise In Trending Articles : No
Date : Jul 15, 2015, 05:09 AM
Article ID : 109847
The High Court has today handed down a judgment in a test case which will have profound implications for access to justice.

In a further judgment in the case of 'I.S.' Mr Justice Collins has found that the Legal Aid Agency’s current operation of the Exceptional Case Funding (ECF) scheme is unlawful.

ECF was established to act as a 'safety net' to mitigate the significant cuts to legal aid otherwise contained in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO). It was meant to protect those whose fundamental rights would be breached in the absence of legal assistance. The scheme is administered by the Legal Aid Agency (LAA), an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice.

The case was brought by the Official Solicitor of England and Wales on behalf of a claimant known as 'I.S.' I.S. is blind, has profound cognitive impairments, lacks litigation capacity and is unable to care for himself. I.S., like many others, had been refused ECF.

An earlier judgment had already established that I.S. was properly entitled to ECF and that the restrictive ECF guidance published by the then Lord Chancellor was incorrect and unlawful. The Official Solicitor then pursued a wider public interest claim out of general concern for other vulnerable litigants.

In hearing this further challenge the Court weighed considerable evidence as to the current operation of the ECF scheme. It found that it is deficient in various respects, including the complexity of the application procedure and the nature of LAA decision-making, and that it is failing to provide the safety net that was promised by Ministers. Mr Justice Collins made it clear that there will need to be significant changes to the operation of the scheme [105].

The Claimant was represented by the Public Law Project (PLP), and Richard Hermer QC, Phillippa Kaufmann QC, Chris Buttler and Ben Silverstone of Matrix Chambers.

Jo Hickman, Director at PLP said:

'PLP has long been concerned about the practical operation of the ECF scheme.This welcome judgment will help to protect the interests of the many children, patients, and other vulnerable adults who would otherwise be unable to achieve justice.'
The full judgment is here.
Categories :
  • News
Tags :
justice2
Authors
Product Bucket :
Recommend These Products
Load more comments
Comment by from